The first 31 events of the 2020 online WSOP are in the books, and the first leg of the 2020 online WSOP has been completed on WSOP.com. At about 6AM Saturday morning, online player ‘2Rivers’ was able to vanquish the 1455 player field to pick up a six-figure payday. The action now moves over to GGPoker, where the online poker battles will be waged until September.
$1000 Championship Brings Strong Field Together
The 1455 players who gathered in New Jersey and Nevada for the official Championship of the 2020 online WSOP weren’t shy about tossing out the rebuys either. 671 times the rebuy key was hit on the WSOP.com software, building an eventual $2,019,700 prize pool that 330 players would be the beneficiaries. For what was the U. S. equivalent of the Championship Event, the battle was well fought.
Max ‘Mawkswell’ Young would earn the unfortunate title of “bubble boy” as he fell in 331st place ($0). This started the parade to the virtual cage as Allen ‘chainsaw’ Kessler, Phil ‘lumenstakin’ Hellmuth, 2020 online WSOP “Player of the Series” contender Tony ‘Panoramic’ Dunst, Jamie ‘DanBilzerian” Kerstetter and Ryan ‘protential ‘Laplante all would receive a little something for their efforts on Friday. Once David ‘bewater’ Goodman exited the virtual stage in tenth place, the final table was set with Brian ‘foxxx’ Kirchoff being stalked by Andy ‘WATCHGUY42’ Lichtenberger and ‘2Rivers.’
The final nine played like they had a plane to catch (or however they were going to get to their next location to play on the GGPoker side of the 2020 online WSOP) with a trio of eliminations in the first few hands of action. ‘2Rivers’ took down Kevin ‘SpecialK333’ Calenzo in ninth while Lichtenberger outkicked Michael ‘merlot’ Bailey in eighth and Arian ‘4632647’ Stolt in seventh to seize the lead. Only eight minutes into the final table, nine had become six and the battle continued.
A level up didn’t slow down the action by any means. A clash between Norman ‘abnormality’ Michalek and ‘Bubblealot’ saw a new chip leader crowned when Michalek flopped two pair with his K-8 to crush the pocket fives of ‘Bubblealot.’ While ‘2Rivers’ got back in the action by knocking out ‘goatplaya’ in fifth place, his A-8 off suit standing tall against ‘goatplaya’s’ J♦ 10♦, Michalek seemed to have ambitions for the title when he knocked off Kirchoff in fourth place to come to three handed play with the lead.
The hits continued to come quickly through the rapid-fire final table. Lichtenberger would be the next to go in third place, his A-5 off suit failing to find anything on the 2-7-9-9-9 board against Michalek’s pocket eights. Holding 30 million of the chips compared to ‘2Rivers’’ 11.9 million, it was thought that it was Michalek’s tournament to take; unfortunately, it wouldn’t turn out the way he wanted.
Michalek arguably charged in when he shouldn’t have, bluffing at a pot instead of letting the tournament come to him. After calling a pre-flop raise from ‘2Rivers,’ the duo saw an 8-6-K flop. Michalek tried to put the pressure on, check-raising ‘2Rivers’ to 2.5 million chips, only to see the player make the call. A Queen of diamonds, the third diamond on the board, came, at which point Michalek fired again and ‘2Rivers’ called yet again.
A ten of spades on the river put a very juicy board out there, replete with flush and straight options, and Michalek moved all in. Undaunted, ‘2Rivers’ made the call and, after seeing that Michalek tried to bluff him off with a 5-4 off suit, turned over his K-8 for a flopped two pair to take command of the tournament. Two hands later, it was all over and ‘2Rivers’ was crowned the champion.
1. ’2Rivers,’ $310,832
2. Norman ‘abnormality’ Michalek, $192,073
3. Andrew ‘WATCHGUY42’ Lichtenberger, $140,167
4. Brian ‘foxxx’ Kirchoff, $103,207
5. ‘goatplaya,’ $76,749
6. ‘Bubblealot,’ $57,561
7. Arian ‘4632647’ Stolt, $43,424
8. Michael ‘merlot’ Bailey, $33,123
9. Kevin ‘SpecialK333’ Calenzo, $25,650